• The Juris Doctor, sometimes called a Juris Doctorate, is the degree most often conferred upon graduating from law school. First introduced in the 1960s, the Juris Doctor gives the holder the recognition of a true doctoral degree and became the equivalent of the Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB), even replacing it at many universities.


    The requirements for a Juris Doctor vary, depending on the university. However, all students must take mandatory classes during their first year, including civil procedure, criminal law and torts. All Juris Doctor holders must also pass a professional responsibility class prior to graduation.


    One must possess a Juris Doctor in order to gain admission into the American Bar Association and to acquire a license to practice law in the United States. The only exception is in California, where there's an option for law office study as opposed to the Juris Doctor.

    Time Frame

    Most American Bar Association law schools require three years of study in order to earn a Juris Doctor.


    In the United States, the Juris Doctor is considered a true terminal professional degree, although it's not a terminal degree in terms of academic research.


    Christopher Langdell, a Harvard Law School dean in the late 1800s, is often credited with bringing the idea of the Juris Doctor to the United States, since he was the first to develop the concept of a post-graduate law degree.


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